Alexis Vance is a 2016 CAPS Bioscience graduate and a chemical engineering student at Oklahoma State University. Alexis has been selected as the only freshman student on the 6-member Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Team at Oklahoma State University. The Micro-g NExT program challenges undergraduate students to design build, and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge. The overall experience includes hands-on engineering design, test operations, and educational/public outreach. Test operations are conducted in the simulated microgravity environment of the NASA Johnson Space Center Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory during the summer. Teams will propose design and prototyping of a tool or simulant identified by NASA engineers as necessary in space exploration missions. Professional NBL divers will test the tools and students will direct the divers from the Test Conductor Room of the NBL facility. This year’s team is challenged with developing an anchoring device.
Alexis, a W.W. Allen Scholar. This hyper-competitive program selects two scholars annually and provides for full-tuition, industry networking, study abroad and mentorship. The program is designed for top academic students, who also show significant promise in leadership and career ambition. The program is highlighted by the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in the UK following graduation from OSU.
Alexis credits her CAPS experience for allowing her to stand out among her peers. She believes that the STEM professional aspect at CAPS helped her to secure the Allen Scholarship and the subsequent laboratory opportunities that she has secured at OSU. Alex began her time at CAPS during middle school summer camps, built on the experience with iGEM during high school and capped it off as a student during her senior year.